USHA – ANIRUDDHA : A Saga of Eternal Romance

“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along”

~Rumi

The romance brew somehow in this manner between the two protagonists of the story- Usha and Aniruddha back in the mythological era when the ‘City of Eternal Romance- Tezpur’ was formed.
Usha, the daughter of a thousand-armed demon king called Banasura, was an enchanting princess. Her beauty was so captivating that concerned of her enthralling appearance, he built a fortress at Tezpur (then called Sonitpur) as a ruler of present-day Central Assam with his capital in Tezpur itself. The fortress was enveloped with fire and the flames burnt out constantly on all sides and directions of the same. That is why, it was named ‘Agnigarh’ – ‘Agni’ signifying ‘fire’ and ‘Garh’ implying ‘fortress’. Banasura’s motive of building the fortress was to keep Usha in isolation as many young suitors had come to him asking for her hand. Not a single soul was allowed to enter or exit the place without his permission.
Usha was a devout worshipper of Goddess Parvati. She was fascinated by the love and the relationship that Goddess Parvati shared with her husband Lord Shiva. She wished for and prayed to have a husband and be blessed with a love life one like Goddess Parvati .Once, propitiated by her devotion, the mighty Goddess appeared in front of her and blessed her with a boon that on the lunar month of Baishakh, she would get to see the glance of the man of her life in her dreams. Usha was mesmerized by the thought of love and kept awaiting that specific day to arrive when she could finally witness the man of her dreams. On Baishakh Dwadeshi (12th day in a lunar month) she envisioned an unbelievably attractive man in her dreams and no sooner had she seen him, than she fell for him. The next morning, as soon as she woke up, she told about the dream to Chitralekha, her dear comrade, who was the daughter of Narad, Banasura’s Minister. Chitralekha was not only an accomplished painter but also one with supernatural powers. She could paint anyone and anything just by listening to the description of their features. Usha was anxious and intrigued to identify the man of her dreams in person. Chitralekha extended her magical helping hands by drawing portraits of various Gods and handsome men belonging to prestigious families. Amongst all, Usha could finally recognize the man of her dreams – Aniruddha, with whom she fell in love blindly and instantly. By now, half of the task was won. It was time to fore-front each other and Usha couldn’t wait but seek help from Chitralekha. Using her mystical powers, Chitralekha discovered the location of Aniruddha which was in Dwarka, took him and fled away to Usha’s fortress while he was fast asleep. Banasura was unaware of all of this yet. When the sleep broke and Aniruddha woke up, he saw the first sight of Usha and witnessing her bewitching beauty, he too fell for her in no time. They were in love.
That is why, I have quoted Rumi at the very beginning of the story. The moment Usha heard her first love story- the love story of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, she started looking out for someone not knowing how blind it could be to fall in love with someone she had dreamt of and moreover, she was unknown to him as a person. The concluding lines of the quote justifies the accomplished love between the two of them “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They are within each other all along”. May be that could be the reason they instantly fell for each other like a pair made in heaven.
But that was not the end as no love story is complete without a villain in it. Here, the Villian was Usha’s father- Banasura. Banasura was furious to discover Aniruddha in Usha’s fortress. Chitralekha on the instruction of Banasura, took Usha to a Shiva temple in a palanquin. Aniruddha too went along in disguise of a “Kahar” (a person carrying a palanquin). As soon as Banasur came to know about this, he along with his army reached the temple and a fierce battle ensued between both of them. He imprisoned Aniruddha and tied him with snakes. Lord Krishna on knowing the incident, came for his grandson’s (Aniruddha’s) rescue along with Lord Balram, Pradyumna and other Yadavas. A conflict took place between the Yadavas and the Asuras. But, the Asuras could not withstand the warfare tactics of the Yadavas and Banasura had to take refuge under Lord Shiva, who once propitiated by his penance & prayers, gave him a boon to which he pleaded to be his protector.
Lord Shiva on keeping up with the vow, came forward to protect him. They took out their most powerful weapons, Lord Krishna- His Sudarshana Chakra and Lord Shiva- His Trishula. This led to the ‘Hari-Hara War’. Hari- Lord Krishna and his followers & Hara- Lord Shiva and his followers. This was the evil consequence of the boon that had turned into a bane. To stop the percussion of this epic battle, Lord Brahma showed up requesting the two Gods to bring this war to an end.
Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Narad then requested Lord Krishna to spare Banasura’s life. Lord Krishna, honoring to the boon granted by Lord Shiva to Banasura, agreed to spare his life, but to pacify his haughtiness and utter arrogance, he tore apart Banasura’s thousand arms one by one, only to be remained with four arms. The city was drenched in a pool of blood. The blood shedding lead to the renaming of the city as “Tezpur”, ‘Tez’ meaning blood in Assamese, and ‘Pura’ meaning City or Town.
Banasura realized that it was the consequence of his unnecessary conceit, pride and egotism. Thus, with great regret, he apologized and bowed down for the act leading to the Hari-Hara war.
Then, Lord Krishna and the Yadavas rescued Aniruddha and Usha. Banasura also consented to their marriage and gave Usha’s hands to Aniruddha. Their magnificent wedding took place in present day Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand and then, they proceeded towards Dwarka, seated in a golden chariot. They were welcomed by the citizens of Dwarka extravagantly and Usha and Aniruddha lived happily forevermore.

Thank You.
RITISHA
Aadr Chronicles

IMAGE CREDIT : GOOGLE
IMAGE CREDIT : GOOGLE
IMAGE CREDIT : GOOGLE.

DEATH VALLEY OF BIRDS : JATINGA

From The Castle of Good Hope in South Africa to the Arandale Lunatic Asylum in Australia and the Bhangarh Fort in India, the world is full of eerie and spooky places. As they say, “Nature is mysterious, and it still holds many unanswered questions”, and humans, being an integral part of nature are always sceptical, questing about nature. The undeciphered Jatinga valley in Assam, India, better known as “THE DEATH VALLEY OF BIRDS” is also one such place, which has been able to portray as one of the mysterious places, due to its “Mass Bird Suicide” phenomenon.

Jatinga Valley, is an alluring village located in Dima Hasao district of Assam State in India. Its name originates from a Zeme Naga word and it roughly translates to ‘a pathway of rain and wind’. This village is inhabited by the Khasi- pnar and the Dimasa Tribe. This serene place poses as one of the most famous bird watching centres of the state. Guwahati-based poet and award winning author, Tapati Baruah Kashyap, in appreciation said, “Jatinga is not about birds alone. It has lovely people, lovely oranges and pineapples, and breath- taking natural scenery all around”.

Over History, thousands of birds have flown to death in Jatinga specially during certain weeks in a year. Ornithologists and Scientists have been trying to explore and find out scientific explanations behind this uncanny occurrence. But in spite of everything, this “Bermuda Triangle of Fowls” remains unidentified. During the months of September and October, i.e. with the advent of winter season, the bizarre incidents of Jatinga also commences. It has been observed by the localites that during these two months, various bird species in numerous numbers die out of odd reasons. It has also come to light that these incidents take place especially during darker and foggy nights, ideally between 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. A night without a moon, preferably after a shower or a downpour retains the perfect aura for this mass suicide. Hundreds of birds (mostly juvenile) descend their way to the valley in one direction, towards the light, like a moth rising to a flame, strangely become disoriented, speed up their flight and end up crashing to death, with the trees or buildings.

Initially Jatinga was deemed to be haunted for many years, as birds are not known to have suicidal tendencies. The local tribals in the ancient days used to believe that these birds were ‘evil spirits of the dead, flying over them and terrorizing them’. They discovered that the birds were attracted to light in certain weather conditions and thus the tribals used these techniques to capture birds for food. It all started in September 1905, when the villagers went out in search of a tiger at night, which had presumably killed a domestic water buffalo. Unfortunately they could neither find the carcass nor the tiger, but a rather peculiar incident followed. They saw a flock of birds approaching their way. The villagers thought that these birds were a ‘Gift of God’ to compensate for the loss of the buffalo therefore they killed the birds for food. Later on they discovered that this visit of birds was an annual phenomenon. Evidently, this valley falls on the route of the local migratory birds. Since then, the local tribal people had started practising this technique, by capturing the birds with bamboo poles or catapults and contriving the celebration of carnivals and feasts.

These sinister events were first brought into limelight during the 1960s, and it quickly gained global attention. Since then, the researchers are trying to untangle the strange mysteries and they have been successful to a considerable extent. Although there is no definite conclusion to these happenings, scientists and ornithologists claim that the combination of high altitudes, foggy and misty skies along with strong south-westerly winds, which apparently flows through Jatinga, in a moonless setting leads to the disorientation of the hovering birds, causing flight stabilization and while seeking solace from the high power lights, set up by the localites, the doomed birds get dazed and dishevelled and they automatically fall down on the ground. The remaining birds which were subjected to trauma are then easily brought down by the vigorous swings of the bamboo poles or the catapults. Another theory is of the suggestive that the birds get disoriented due to the presence of certain magnetism in that area, consequently changing the overall qualities of the underground water and also affecting the central nervous system of some species of birds. However, it has been reported that long distance migratory birds are not affected by this phenomenon and only about 44 species of local birds, which are not nocturnal in nature fall victim to this queer incident.

At present, with the growing cognizance, the Wildlife and Bird Societies in India and other concerned authorities have successfully been able to convince the villagers to resist the practice of bird killing and also educating them with the various scientific thesis which causes this “Mass Aves Suicide”. The authorities even banned the use of flash, halogen and search lights in the village and also the movement of people with sticks, nets or other bird catching items. Environmental Activists also have taken necessary steps and launched various awareness campaigns for the conservation of the fowls of Jatinga, as a result, this bird killing spree has substantially decreased by forty percent. Government officials in turn are trying to transform Jatinga into a Tourist Spot and a Bird Watching Centre.

Bottom-line : Although the concerned researchers are still trying to unravel the definite rationale for this spooky incidents, yet we can safely say that this enigma still remains unsolved.

“BE KIND TO EVERY KIND”.

Thank You
ANUPAL.
Aadr Chronicles.


IMAGE CREDITS : GOOGLE.
IMAGE CREDITS : GOOGLE.
Continue reading “DEATH VALLEY OF BIRDS : JATINGA”

GREETINGS!!

Welcome to the launch of AADR CHRONICLES!

AADR CHRONICLES is a blog page started by FOUR teenagers of Assam,India.We felt the urge of writing as we believe that ‘A pen is mightier than the sword’.So,here we are!Soon,we will be uploading our works.Anticipating your support!

Much love,

Team AADR!